Have we become so used to hearing the media and talking heads spin the news of the day that we’ve forgotten the power of speaking the truth? Does what we see on television and hear on the radio begin to influence how we speak to each other at home and in the workplace? If so, we too have become masters of spin. When talking to clients about the market or economy, when talking to team members about the long-term outlook of our business, and even when talking to ourselves about our own condition – are we telling more of a story then the actual truth? If so, then we must identify the root of this desire or need to spin reality. I believe it is fear. We’ve become so sensitive to hurting someone’s feelings and potentially damaging a relationship, that we believe spin is required to maintain peace. We fear losing a client if we tell them their house will never sell at certain price. We fear the difficult conversation that arises when our spouse asks for an update on the family budget. We fear the change that we know is necessary to move us out of our existing reality and into a healthier one. The stories we tell become false realities centered only on ourselves, our fears, and how we feel. As a result, we lose touch with a value that is at our core both personally and professionally: to serve others with integrity.
If you are going to live your life and run your business intentionally and with purpose, then this fear of speaking the truth is not a place where you can find rest. I don’t know about you but I long for my relationships in life and business to be meaningful and I have found that there is a freedom and peace that comes from speaking the truth to those we love and serve.
As you enter into difficult conversations with your clients, friends, and family, I encourage you focus on the reality of the situation - not your own ideal and what you hope to be true. When we spin an important conversation to earn someone’s business or loyalty then we have done the one thing they hoped we would never do - violate their trust. While they may not realize it at first, it will be revealed through the frustration and anxiety that comes from our inability to keep promises and perform as expected.
Speaking the truth requires that you put your personal interests aside and consider the development and growth of the person you are speaking to. Are you helping that person achieve their goals and develop into a better person? Or are you focused solely on saying what this person wants to hear in hopes of landing a new client, avoiding a difficult conversation, or putting off dealing with a needed change?
Your honesty will testify for you in the future. When you are known for speaking the truth, you become a trusted advisor. Someone that is called on and turned to for counsel in a time of need. You will be known as someone that cuts through the spin with love and respect - not with harsh words and with no regard for others. We must not get caught up in telling the story that make our clients and loved ones feel good. Rather, we need to focus on the reality of the situation and offer hope where we can.
Make it a Great Day!